EHAM QTH QRZ ARRL HRO ICOM KENWOOD YAESU 6PM 145.130 NET .
TUESDAY EDITION: I have been looking for a place to throw up a Cobra Antenna in the yard without making the yard look like Wally World and keep the yl happy. I have plenty of 50 foot trees but I need to move a few of them so they work for me!....I have an Icom 4100 to try out and wish there was a DStar repeater around here, I can use my hotspot but that would be like shooting a duck with a .45......
Start them young.
Licensee Hit With $24,000 Fine for Jamming Net, Failure to ID: FCC...has the FCC ever collected a nickel on any fine they ever issued?
An investigation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) results in a large fine against a California amateur radio license holder. A Notice of Apparent Liability Forfeiture (NALF) for $24,000 has been filed against Phillip J. Beaudet, N6PJB, of Burney, California. According to the filing, the penalty is for Beaudet “willfully and repeatedly interfering with the radio communications of the Western Amateur Radio Friendship Association (WARFA) while it was attempting to hold a regularly scheduled net and for failing to provide station identification on amateur radio frequencies.” FCC agents used direction finding techniques during November and December of 2022 to track the interfering signals to Beaudet’s home station. Agents “heard him playing recordings on 3.908 MHz that caused interference to the ongoing WARFA net while failing to provide his assigned amateur call sign,” the document stated.
Hamvention sees largest attendance record
XENIA, Ohio (WKEF) -- The largest amateur radio convention saw a greater attendance during its 2023 Hamvention in Xenia.
Attendance was 33,861, which is more than 2,000 greater than last year, and even surpassed the previous pre-pandemic attendance record of 32,472.
“Things went very smoothly due to the dedication and hard work of close to 700 volunteers," said Jim Storms, general manager.
Dates for 2024
scheduled for May
17-19 at the Greene
and Expo Center.
MONDAY EDITION: I played with a donated Elecraft K2 100 this weekend, a nice radio for sure. A low end entry into the Elecraft line and has been available for many years. Originally sold as a cw radio with 15 watts out and an optional SSB module and 100 watt amplifier module. I am guessing a $2000+ radio. I made a few contacts but spent most of the time listening. The cw filters are unreal! We will keep this gem and not EBay it at the club. We also received two Icom 751A's, also a fine older radio in excellent condition which we plan to EBay. Additionally we received an Flex 3000 we will EBay. .....U.S. releases video showing close-call with Chinese warship
Factors that influence the cost of ham radiosHam radios, also known as amateur radios, have been a popular means of communication among hobbyists, emergency responders, and enthusiasts for decades. These versatile devices provide a unique way to connect with people worldwide, participate in emergency preparedness exercises, and explore the world of wireless communication.
However, one common question when considering the ham radio hobby is, “how much is a ham radio ham ?” In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various factors that influence the cost of ham radios and provide you with a clear understanding of what to expect.
Types of Ham Radios:
Ham radios come in various types and configurations, each with features and capabilities. The cost of ham radio will largely depend on the type you choose. Some common types include handheld radios (HTs), mobile radios, base stations, and software-defined radios (SDRs). HTs are portable and compact, while mobile radios are designed for vehicle use. Base stations provide more power and typically have more extensive ranges, while SDRs offer advanced digital signal processing capabilities. The cost will vary based on the type and the features it provides.
Power Output and Frequency Range:
Another critical factor that affects the cost of ham radios is their power output and frequency range. Higher power output and broader frequency coverage usually come at a higher price. Radios with lower power output may be suitable for local communication, while those with higher power output can reach longer distances. Similarly, radios with broader frequency coverage allow users to access more bands and modes, making them more versatile and expensive.
Features and Accessories:
The features and accessories included with a ham radio can significantly impact its cost. Some radios have built-in GPS, digital signal processing, automatic antenna tuners, and advanced filtering capabilities. Additional accessories such as external microphones, antennas, battery packs, and charging stations may add to the cost. Consider your specific needs and interests to determine which features and accessories are essential for you, as opting for more advanced options will generally increase the price.
Brand and Quality:
The brand and quality of the ham radio can also influence its cost. Established brands with a strong reputation in the amateur radio community often command higher prices. These brands have invested in research and development, ensuring quality construction, durability, and excellent performance. While budget-friendly options are available, balancing cost and quality is essential to provide a reliable and enjoyable experience with your ham radio.
New vs. Used Equipment:
Another consideration that affects the cost is deciding whether to purchase new or used ham radio equipment. New radios generally have warranties and the latest features, but they can be more expensive. On the other hand, used radios can be more budget-friendly, especially if you’re starting in the hobby and want to explore different options before committing to a higher-priced radio. When purchasing used equipment, it’s essential to research the seller, inspect the equipment thoroughly, and ensure it is in good working condition.
When considering the cost of ham radios, evaluating your needs, preferences, and budget is crucial. The price of ham radios varies based on factors such as type, power output, frequency range, features, accessories, brand, and whether the equipment is new or used. Take the time to research different options, read reviews, and seek advice from experienced ham radio operators. Doing so lets you make an informed decision that aligns with your interests while ensuring a rewarding and enjoyable ham radio experience. Remember, ham radio is not just a hobby; it’s a gateway to an exciting world of communication and exploration. source
WEEKEND EDITION: Good morning hamsters, a rainy one for sure....We received two Icom 751a transceivers yesterday among other radios for the club. I thought I would go over to the club today and fire them up and see what works and what doesn't. ....SCOUTS TO THE RESCUE: On the one hand, Eric Valentine, an 80-year-old former Scoutmaster, is lucky that a group of Scouts just happened to pass by in their canoes minutes after he fell down a rocky riverbank, seriously injuring himself. On the other hand, there’s nothing lucky about a Scout troop being prepared. Knowing they were entering an area of the Snake River with limited cellphone service, Troop 77 from Eagle, Idaho (Mountain West Council), carried one ham radio, one satellite communicator and several short-distance radios with them. Knowing it would take a significant amount of time for first responders to arrive in case of an emergency, they had one adult with wilderness first-responder training and several Scouts familiar with basic Scouting first-aid skills. ARTICLE.....FYI
See what happens when you put those damn stickers on your radios?
As you can see, I was the most important man on this job...holding the ladder and handing up the antenna mount....
Museum Ships On-the-Air Weekend
If you like
ships and are an
ships will be on
the air from
June 3 - 4 for
ARRL Elected to Serve on SAFECOM
ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® has been elected to serve on SAFECOM®. SAFECOM is a group of national thought leaders and officials within the emergency communications and response space that works to set standards used at every level. The program is managed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security.
SAFECOM sets the standards of interoperability procedures, and ARRL being a part of the group solidifies the Amateur Radio Service as a robust resource before and during times of crisis.
In a letter from SAFECOM Chair, Chief Gerald R Reardon said “On behalf of the SAFECOM Executive Board, it is with great pleasure that I inform you of our offer to join SAFECOM as a member association. SAFECOM aims to improve multi-jurisdictional and intergovernmental communications interoperability through collaboration with emergency responders and policymakers across federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and international partners. SAFECOM recognizes the organization’s dedication to emergency communications and interoperability, and therefore is pleased to extend a membership offer.”
ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, said “Gaining a seat at the table is a major step in strengthening the role and capability of Amateur Radio with emergency communication agencies. This will give us the sounding board and resources we need to set standards and create training for our Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) volunteers that will better suit AHJ’s (Agencies Having Jurisdiction) and partner organizations.” The opportunity for ARRL to provide a more comprehensive Emergency Communications program is part of the goal the Board and ARRL leadership has begun to emphasize over the past few years, and this is one more example of the commitment to do so. ARRL will provide premier resources for the served agencies to support them in all phases of Emergency Management.
Johnston will serve as the Representative for ARRL on SAFECOM and will be meeting with that leadership over the coming days to begin the process of better understanding all the roles and responsibilities that come with being a member association. “I look forward to working with the SAFECOM leadership as we move forward and with the ARRL Leadership to better serve the Ham community and our Served Agencies and Partners.” Johnston said.
For more information about ARES and other ARRL Emergency Programs and training visit our web page at: http://arrl.org/public-service
For more information about SAFECOM go to: https://www.cisa.gov/safecom
ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® was founded in 1914 as The American Radio Relay League, and is a noncommercial organization of radio amateurs. ARRL numbers within its ranks the vast majority of active radio amateurs (or “hams”) in the US and has a proud history of achievement as the standard-bearer in promoting and protecting amateur radio. For more information about ARRL and amateur radio, visit www.arrl.org.
Amateur Radio Operators, or “hams,” have a long history of serving their communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, such as cell phone towers and fiber optic networks. Amateur radio functions completely independently of the internet and phone systems, and a ham radio station can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. Amateurs can quickly raise a wire antenna in a tree or on a mast, connect it to a radio and power source, and communicate effectively with others.
The ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES® www.arrl.org/ares) consists of hams who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment with their local ARES leadership for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. They use their training, skills, and equipment to prepare for and provide communications during emergencies When All Else Fails®.
“He Touched So Many Lives” Chip Margelli, K7JA (SK)
The airwaves are markedly dimmer this week, social media is filled with heartfelt tributes, and industry leaders are mourning. Longtime fixture of amateur radio Charles “Chip” Margelli, K7JA, passed away after a brief illness. Margelli was an ARRL Life Member.
“The light and love of my life is gone,” Margelli’s widow Janet, KL7MF, posted on Facebook. “He enjoyed 60 wonderful years as a ham and 45 happy years with me. Between DXing, contesting, ragchewing, moonbounce, satellite, writing, designing, building antennas, and Field Day, there was never a dull moment,” she wrote.
Margelli was well known in the amateur radio industry. His friendly approach and love of customer service marked his professional career. He served for 29 years at Yaesu Musen Co., Ltd. until becoming the Director of Sales and Marketing for Heil Sound Communications Inc. in 2006. In 2010, he joined CQ Communications Inc. as the Director of Advertising Sales. Later in his career, he worked with InnovAntennas before retiring from Ham Radio Outlet as an I.T. Specialist in 2022, according to his biography.
“Chip was a great contester,” said ARRL Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV. Margelli held first place in many national radiosport contests. “He never had anything bad to say about anyone. He was a fixture at all [of] the big events and was just a great guy to be around,” said Naumann.
His love of people took him around the world on DXpeditions and missions of goodwill related to amateur radio. In 1984, he was instrumental in helping the Chinese Radio Sports Association re-establish amateur radio in China. He served a similar role in Albania and operated from Cuba. In 1990, Margelli and his teammate Mike Wetzel, W9RE, won a silver medal at the first-ever World Radiosport Team Championship, held in conjunction with the Goodwill Games in Seattle.
His operating prowess spanned modes, cultures, and languages. “Chip was a real DXer who could be eating an ice cream sandwich while sending CW at 50 WPM, all while watching his smartphone for DX spots and carrying on a conversation with a visiting ham,” said instructor Gordon West, WB6NOA. “When working phone, he would speak Japanese when the band was open to the west and speak Russian [to] an early morning 20-meter contact, and [then] Spanish when working stations to the south – plus, more languages [than] I could ever figure out, with a perfect accent,” West added.
Margelli was genuinely curious about many subjects. “If someone brought up a topic about who knows what, he would just go with it.,” said Janet Margelli. “There didn’t seem to be anything that did not interest him,” she said. Margelli is remembered as someone who “just loved people [and] loved entertaining them,” she said.
In May 2005, Margelli took amateur radio to global late-night TV. On an episode of The Tonight Show, host Jay Leno pit Morse code against SMS text messaging to see which was a faster way to communicate. Margelli went up against the US champion cell phone text messenger. Long time friend Katie Allen, WY7YL, said Margelli didn’t feel pressure to perform for the global audience nearly as much as he did for fellow hams. “He always told me that it was kind of thrown together at the last minute, the biggest pressure was that Dayton Hamvention® was right after and if he blew it, he didn’t want to show his face at the event,” said Allen. He didn’t blow it - Margelli and his partner Ken Miller, K6CTW, beat the speed of the text messengers.
Margelli is a 2018 inductee to the First Class CW Operators’ Club (FOC), a 2021 recipient of the E.T. Krenkel Medal, and was inducted into the CQ Magazine Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 2006. He was a life member of AMSAT and the Quarter Century Wireless Association.
More than his impressive career as a radio amateur, those closest to Margelli are mourning the loss of a man they describe as caring and compassionate - always willing to help creatures big and small. “Chip and Janet have a beautiful yard. I remember one time he ran out in a pouring rainstorm to cover a bush that had Monarch butterfly larvae in it,” said Allen. “Who else would get soaking wet just to make sure butterflies make it through a rainstorm?” she said. Allen once was in need of a kidney transplant, and Margelli offered up his own. “He called my husband - before they even met and said, ‘If Katie needs a kidney, I have an extra,’” recounted Allen.
There has been an outpour of messages and remembrances of Margelli circulating on social media. While reaching out for this article, ARRL received many thoughtful comments about Margelli that cannot fit within one story. We have assembled some of the photos and writings on the ARRL Facebook page and YouTube channel, where users are encouraged to share their memories to honor the impact Margelli had on them.
As Margelli was privately battling cancer, he was spending time building cables and other equipment for ham clubs to use in the upcoming ARRL Field Day 2023. His final acts of service will be put to good use in the operating event. Janet Margelli said there is not a memorial service planned. “If Chip were here, he’d say the best way to honor him is ‘just go kick butt on Field Day.’”
Recycling batteries could reduce the need to mine critical minerals—but only if the packs are properly recovered.
The race to electrify the world’s vehicles and store energy will require batteries — so many of them, in fact, that meeting the demand we will see by 2040 will require 30 times the amount of critical minerals like lithium, cobalt, and nickel that those industries currently use.
That presents an enormous challenge, one exacerbated by the mining industry’s alarming allegations of labor crimes, environmental destruction, and encroachments on Indigenous land. There are ways to mitigate electrification’s extractive impacts, one of which may seem obvious: Recycle every battery we make.
Doing so would reduce the world’s need to mine these minerals by 10 percent within 16 years, because the critical materials in batteries are infinitely reusable. Eventually, a robust circular battery economy could all but eliminate the need to extract them at all.
Of course, that would require recovering every EV pack at the end of its life, a sizable undertaking as the United States prepares for hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles to retire by the end of the decade. A nascent ecosystem of startups is working toward that goal, and the Inflation Reduction Act includes tax credits to incentivize the practice. But some electrification advocates say those steps do not go far enough. While the European Union recently passed a regulation mandating EV battery recycling, there is no such law in the U.S. Proponents of a federal recycling standard say that without one, batteries that could be recycled might get left behind, increasing the need for mining and undermining electrification’s environmental benefits.
“We need a coordinated federal response to truly have a large-scale impact on meeting our demand,” said Blaine Miller-McFeeley, a policy advocate at Earthjustice, which favors a federal recycling requirement. “If you compare us to the EU, we are woefully behind and need to move much more quickly.”
That movement would have to come from Congress, according to Miller-McFeeley. Historically, however, regulating recycling has been left up to the states and local jurisdictions. The Biden administration has instead been supporting the country’s budding EV battery recycling industry, mainly by making it good business to recover critical materials.
Daniel Zotos, who handles public advocacy at the battery recycling startup Redwood Materials, said in an email that a healthy market for recycled materials is emerging. “Not only is there tremendous value today in recycling these metals, but the global demand for metals means that automakers need to source both more mined and recycled critical minerals.”
Zotos said Redwood Materials agrees with the approach the federal government has taken. “The U.S. has in fact chosen to help incentivize, rather than mandate, recycling through provisions established in the Inflation Reduction Act, which we’re deeply supportive of.”
During a pilot project in California last year, the company recovered 95 percent of the critical materials in 1,300 lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride EV and hybrid batteries. The cost of retrieving packs from throughout the state was the biggest barrier to profitability, but Zotos said that expense will subside as the industry grows.
The Department of Energy wants to establish a “battery ecosystem” that can recover 90 percent of spent lithium batteries by 2030. It has granted billions in loans to battery recyclers to build new facilities. Automakers are incentivized to buy those recyclers’ products, because part of the federal EV tax credit applies only to cars with batteries that include a minimum amount of critical minerals that were mined, processed or recycled in the U.S. or by a free-trade partner. Manufacturers also get a tax credit for producing critical materials (including recycled ones) in the U.S.
THURSDAY EDITION: This morning we are going to mount a Diamond 10-80 meter vertical antenna at the club. At about $379, a bit pricey for a dummy load but we will see what it does. It is about 20 feeet tall with a balun, 4.5 pounds, and rated for 80mph winds. Pictures later in the day if I don't fall off the ladder....I have been listening here and there on 6 meters and Im have heard a few 4 land beacons and a few cw stations as well as digital crap, where are the ssb guys hiding?
NEW Icom ID-50A VHF/UHF D-STAR Handheld Transceiver
Enhance your QSO experience with Icom’s newest handheld, the ID-50A. This compact, entry-level DSTAR dual-bander, 2m/70cm, is a perfect introduction to the world of ham radio operation. Beginners will love the easy D-STAR settings, band scope with waterfall display, Share Picture function (requires STID50A/W app), Dualwatch, and more. Optional accessories are also compatible with the ID-52A, ID-51A,and ID-31A.
The ID-50A brings the fun of the D-STAR Experience! By connecting to a D-STAR (Digital Smart Technology for Amateur Radio) network, you can call a friend in another city, or other regions around the world. Use the Terminal Mode and Access Point Mode for building your own internet gateway to access the D-STAR repeater network, even in an area with no D-STAR repeaters nearby. The D-STAR DV mode can send not only voice, but also image data. Photos from a smart device can imported into the ID-50A/E using the ST-ID50A/W picture utility software to exchange photos and QSL cards.
The ID-50A's Band Scope and Waterfall displays can visually show active channels with a wide span and timeline, so it is easy to find active channels by sight. The Dualwatch function doubles QSO opportunities to monitor VHF/VHF, VHF/UHF and UHF/UHF bands at the same time. The ID-50A can receive both the Airband and the FM bands. Large capacity battery pack, BP-307 for the IC-705 is usable as well.
*This product has not been approved by the FCC. This is not an offer to sell this product
*Pre-release information shown. Specifications subject to change.
Introduction to Grounding
After antennas, station grounding is probably the most discussed subject in amateur radio and it is also the one replete with the most misconceptions. The first thing to know is that there are three functions served by grounding in ham shacks: 1. Electrical Safety 2. Stray RF Suppression (or simply RF Grounding) 3. Lightning Protection. Each has it's own set of requirements, but not all station setups need every kind of ground. In fact, some setups don't use a ground at all! The articles on this page will help clear up some of the myths and mystery surrounding this popular topic.
1. How important is a ground? Most people say that grounding is all- important, but I have had a few people tell me that grounds aren't necessary.
Grounds fulfill three distinct functions. The best ground for one function isn't necessarily the best for another. The three are:
a. Safety ground. This protects you from a shock hazard if one of the mains or high voltage power supply wires contacts the chassis due to some kind of fault. The requirements for this ground are spelled out in your state's electrical code. I believe that most states adopt the National Electrical Code (NEC). The safety ground conductor in your wall sockets should be connected to ground according to this code, and your rig's chassis should be connected to the safety ground.
b. Lightning ground. The requirements for a ground for lightning protection are much more stringent than for a safety ground as a lot of energy must be safely dissipated. See the TIS Page on Lightning Protection.
c. RF ground. This is required only for some antennas-- ones which require current flow to ground to complete the antenna circuit. A quarter-wave vertica is a popular example. One wire of the feedline connects to the base of the antenna, and the other connects to ground. The connection to ground has to have a low RF resistance, or you'll expend too much of your power heating the ground. A few radial wires will provide a moderately low loss connection. A ground rod will help a little, but the RF resistance will be high, resulting in quite a bit of loss. Chapter 8 of the ARRL Antenna Book shows the approximate trade between resistance and number of radials. If your antenna is much shorter than ¼ wavelength, you'll need many, many radials to get reasonable efficiency. If it's longer, you can get by with fewer. A ½ wavelength base-fed vertical needs only a very modest ground, and a ground rod is adequate. The requirements for various other end-fed antennas depend on their length. If you use a "complete" antenna like a dipole or a ground plane (that is, one that doesn't require your feedline to connect to ground), you don't need a RF ground, as long as you keep common-mode currents off your feedline. A "current" or "choke" balun is most commonly used for this.
2. How do mobile HF operators get RF grounds? For obvious reasons, the 8-foot buried pole won't work.
In a typical HF setup, the car is capacitively coupled to the ground, so the antenna is something sort of like a cross between a lopsided vertical dipole (with the whip being one side and the car the other) and a vertical with elevated radial system.
Roy Lewallen, W7EL, ARRL Technical Adviser
Back Seat Shack -- Going Portable
Going portable to do a POTA or activate a grid is much easier and cheaper than you probably think! If you’ve never done it, you should get out of the shack and give it a try. It’s an experience every ham should have. Warning: you may get hooked!
Sadly, my days of portable operations are over and done. But I still recommend “car portable” for an easy start. Yes, picnic benches, wire antennas in trees, and plastic sheeting to protect the rig from rain can be lots of fun. But for simplicity, convenience, and all-around ease of operation, the Back Seat Shack can’t be beat! Caution - please do a close-to-home shakedown cruise before you launch into the wilderness. You’ll be glad you did. The little gremlins are easier fixed at home than miles away
Since you are on-air, you already have the most expensive items for car portable. Most current HF rigs run on 13.8 volts DC so your current home station transceiver will most likely be suitable (provided it isn’t a boat anchor!). If you use a laptop for rig control or logging, or are into digital modes, you’re all set in the “big equipment”. If you don’t use a computer…well, you are all set too!
Assuming you have the “big equipment,” all that’s left is a suitable antenna setup and a power source. Let’s talk about antennas first. The quickest, easiest, and cheapest answer is a hamstick on a mag mount in the center of your vehicle roof. You’re not going to be driving around with this setup on the roof, so you don’t need guy lines or to put out radials. I’ve never been confronted by anyone about permissions or permits and doubt you will be - unless you’re parked in a No Parking Zone. You are totally self-contained and there is nothing to cause concern.
Is a hamstick the equivalent of a full-size wire dipole up in the trees? No, but it will do a great job on 40m or up where most of our activity happens. I have used this setup to work Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, South America, and even Oceana from all over the CONUS - all with 35W PSK. If the bands are open, USA, Mexico, and Canada are a breeze in all modes.
Positioning is important with a mag mount antenna. Center of the roof is where it should be. That gets max metal centered under your antenna for a counterpoise and gives the best omnidirectional pattern. Don’t worry about all the grounding and bonding of body parts you hear about for mobile ops. It will work just fine without all that. And since you are parked with the engine off, you aren’t generating QRM from your car’s systems.
I use a 5” Hustler MBM mag mount (about $35 these days) and the hamsticks screw directly into it. As an aside, Lakeview Co. originally made HamSticks but they are no longer in productions. The equivalent is a MFJ HamTenna (MFJ-16xxT HF Stick where the xx equals the band) and while some don’t like MFJ products, I have never had a problem with their HamTennas. And most everyone still calls the HamTenna a hamstick!
One issue that will have to be addressed is Common Mode Current on your coax. Since the HamTenna is an unbalanced antenna, it will try to use the coax for the other side. The easy solution is a 1:1 UnUn. This can take the form of a home brew “Ugly Balun” (turns of coax on an air core – lots of plans on the web) but I chose to buy a commercial choke from Balun Designs – Model 1110 – about $65. It is good to 300 watts. I cut the mag mount coax at about 12” and attached a PL259. That lets me put the choke on the roof right next to the antenna and then run a short coax into the back seat of the car. And the choke solved my RF into the computer problem as well!
I carry a 40m, a 20m, and a 15m HamTenna for my portable ops. With those 3 bands, I can always find activity. Tuning a HamTenna can be a bit tricky. Tune with it in place on the roof, with the choke in line. It is easiest with an antenna analyzer like an MFJ 259b, or a Rig Expert. But the smart money these days use one of the new NanoVNAs – much, much cheaper than the old antenna analyzers – and a must for every ham! You tune the HamTenna by lengthening or shortening the whip portion. Remember: “to lower the frequency, lengthen; to raise the frequency, shorten.” I had trouble getting the 40m stick tuned in the low end of the band. The whip wasn’t long enough. Since I wanted it resonate (so to not need an antenna tuner), I soldered a piece of solid copper wire to an alligator clip, attached the clip to the end of the whip, and trimmed it to resonance. I could have used my rig’s ATU, but wanted to radiate as much RF as I could.
So, we have the “big equipment” and the antenna system in place. We only need a power source. The obvious answer is to use the car battery. But there are some issues doing that. First, when parked and operating, you probably won’t be running the engine. That creates the potential to run the battery down and being unable to start the car when you are ready to go. That’s not a desirable situation when you may be miles from help or a jump to get you started. There are commercially available battery isolators that solve that problem. I chose a different approach that overcame another issue in powering from the car battery.
The issue is your HF rig will probably (at least some of the time) draw more amperage than your car wiring is designed to handle. That means either installing direct wiring from the battery (WITH PROPER FUSING!) or replacing fuses with higher amp fuses. DON’T DO THAT! Fuses are designed to protect you and your car. If you replace a fuse with higher amp fuse, you risk an electrical fire in your car’s wiring!
My answer was to use a separate battery for the radio. Initially I used a deep cycle marine battery set in the rear seat passenger’s footwell. They are heavy, but since you are “car portable” who cares? The downside was that they only lasted about 3 years before they were junk. Then I heard about Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. I bought a Bioenno Power 12Ah battery (about $125 as of this writing) and it will run my Elecraft K3 at 35W for about 7 hours 50-50 cycle before it needs recharging. These batteries require a special charger, also available from Bioenno (about $25). Note: Bioenno Power has a handy sizing chart for Ham Radio on their FAQ page.
Interestingly, I found my limiting factor for off-the-grid portable was my laptop battery. Some of the contributing factors were the need to run the display all the way bright because of sunlight and using WiFi and internet. A screen shade, turning off WiFi and going without internet helped, but the laptop battery was always my limiting factor. There are laptop power supplies designed to run off 12V. But the truth is I generally burned out about the same time as the battery went south! So I never made the investment.
I found a couple of other items that made my back seat ham shack better – a 9” folding step stools for putting the mag mount on and off the roof and a lap desk. Amazon has a ton of options for both.
Going car portable is easy, inexpensive, and you probably have most of what you’ll need. Give it a go! You’ll be glad you did! 73,
Rick – N7WE
WEDNESDAY EDITION: I will update a little later, I have some business to take care of...
Ham Operator Faces Fine for Disruptions to WARFA Net
The FCC issues a notice of apparent liability to Philip Beaudet
A California man faces a possible $24,000 fine for allegedly playing recordings during an amateur radio net and not providing his call sign.
Philip Beaudet has been issued a notice of apparent liability by the Federal Communications Commission for “apparently willfully and repeatedly interfering with the radio communications of the Western Amateur Radio Friendship Association while it was attempting to hold a regularly scheduled net and for failing to provide station identification on amateur radio frequencies.”
Beaudet is licensee of N6PJB in Burney, Calif. A net is an on-air meeting of local amateurs.
The FCC said it received numerous complaints about Beaudet. It says that its agent went to Burney three times in late 2022 and in each case heard Beaudet playing recordings on 3.908 MHz that caused interference to the WARFA net while failing to provide his own call sign.
It said he has 30 days to pay the proposed fine or to respond with reasons it should be reduced or cancelled. “We caution Beaudet that future violations of this kind may result in significantly higher forfeitures or revocation of his amateur license,” it added.
I mowed the lawn today, and after doing so
I sat down and had a cold beer.
The day was really quite beautiful, and the drink facilitated some deep thinking.
and I said, "Nothing."
The reason I said "nothing" instead of saying "just thinking" is because she then would have asked, "About what?"
At that point I would have had to explain that men are deep thinkers about various topics, which would lead to other questions.
Finally I pondered an age old question: Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the nuts?
Women always maintain that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the nuts, but how could they know?
Well, after another beer, and some more heavy deductive thinking, I have come up with an answer to that question.
Getting kicked in the nuts is more painful than having a baby, and even though I obviously couldn't really know, here is the reason for my conclusion:
A year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say, "It might be nice to have another child."
But you never hear a guy say, "You know, I think I would like another kick in the nuts."
I rest my case.
Time for another beer. Then maybe a nap.
think we all had a
nice weekend except
for the Celtics....George
& Mike's Excellent
DX Foundation to Offer Grants to Mitigate QRM
The Northern California DX Foundation is preparing to offer $100,000 in grants to help mitigate deliberate interference in amateur radio activities.
HAMS YOU MIGHT KNOW
Jon....Editor of As The World
on 3900 mornings....just